For when tweeting isn't enough

Spring 2013 Start

Posted January 14, 2013

I’ve had one of the most productive winter breaks in quite some time, but the Spring 2013 semester starts today. 13 credit hours and a part-time job should be enough to keep me busy.

Last week, I took the time to rethink about the purpose of my website. I want it to focus more on my projects and works, so I rearranged it all to better suit that need. The blog isn’t going to be the main focus anymore. I don’t write much, so any new writings will probably be quick and straight to the point. Most of my random ramblings these days are done on my Twitter anyways. Crazy to think that a platform that I once considered insignificant is now the core repository of my random thoughts.

I went on ahead an published the SuperBAD demo a couple of days back and fixed a few bugs soon after. The app should be fully functional now and should do a decent job of keeping you entertained for at least two minutes. With the semester starting and the imminent course load ahead, my spare time to develop apps will be limited. Regardless, I’m gonna start on a new app and try to work on it during the course of the semester. I already have a name and a logo created, so I hope that I can go far with it. Ideas are pouring in, but it takes time to make them a reality.

Aside from schoolwork, I have a goal that I want to focus on this semester. I want to be a better programmer. Up until recently, coding has always felt more like a chore. It’s not that coding is difficult (which it still is!), but it sometimes felt boring and frustrating. It might have something to do with getting homework assignments done and stuff. In the past, whenever I had to do assignments, I would ask and tell myself “Do I really have to do this? I don’t want to do this.” I don’t want to say that anymore. I just want to say “LET’S DO THIS” and get stuff done. I’m going to focus more on loving what I do, and I believe I can do it this semester.

SuperBAD demos complete

Posted January 7, 2013


With the Spring 2013 semester starting in about a week, I decided that now is a good time to wrap up the development of SuperBAD. Six simple demos have been created:

  • Text Input
  • Fragment
  • Data
  • App Interaction
  • Audio Playback
  • Camera

For the next week, I’ll focus on polishing the code before I release it. I need to make sure that the syntax, variable names, and everything else is consistent. In addition, I need to cite all of my sources for everything in the code.

Due to time constraints, I was not able to achieve my goal of implementing a system that would allow the user to view the source code in the app. Perhaps in the distant future, I can do something of the sort, but I currently have no intentions of working on the app during the semester.

Also, I decided not to publish the app on the Google Play store. There are a few strong reasons for this:

  • It’s a basic app that showcases demos. There’s no practical real-world use for it.
  • Doesn’t make sense to pay the developer fee just to publish the app.
  • The idea of doing so was kind of silly in the first place. :)

Nonetheless, the app and source code will be published here so that anyone with a web-connected Android device can download and install it.

I expect to have all of this finished and published within the next week, before school starts.


Android programming

Posted December 21, 2012

Ruiz's Test AppThis winter break, I decided to try and study up on as many programming languages and platforms as possible. I’m currently working on Android and it’s not bad. For the past three nights, I spent some time creating an app that consists of demos of what I’ve learned. So far, I only have two demos cooked up, but I plan to add many more as I continue to learn over the next few weeks. The demos will be based on tutorials from the Android Developers website, as well as anything else I feel like adding. None of them have a practical real-world purpose; it’s more of a “just for fun” kind of thing. I don’t know how many demos I’ll have when I’m finished, but it will probably be a good amount.

After I finish the app, I’ll submit it to the Google Play Store and release all of the source code for anyone to view. It might come in handy for beginners who want to understand Android’s most basic features. For now, I’ll just provide updated screenshots of the app as time progresses.


First Ring Dunk!

Posted September 15, 2012

Yesterday, I finally recieved my Aggie ring! It was very exciting and I had the privilege of dunking with two fellow members of TAMU Epic Movement: Josh and William. For those not in the know, Ring Dunk is an Aggie tradition where you place your ring in a 60 fl. oz. pitcher of (traditionally) beer and chug it as fast as you can. You finish by catching the ring with your teeth as proof that you “earned” your ring. I don’t ever drink alcohol, so needless to say I was pretty nervous about what to expect. I did pretty good, but I felt that I could have done better. I had to stop for about 30 seconds to recover and ended up throwing up about 15-20% of the fluid, but I managed to clock in at 1:48. All without a single mess on my expensive dress shirt! (I’m OCD even while dunking, imagine that.) The experience was awesome, but I am never doing this again. Without a doubt, this marks one of the best nights of my college life. Definitely a proud day to be an Aggie! Whoop!

Ruiz: 3 Heineken (36 fl. oz.) + Diet Green Tea (24 fl. oz.) = 1:48
Josh: 2 Corona (24 fl. oz.) + V8 Splash (36 fl. oz.) = 2:31 (2:01 when finished drinking)
William: V8 Splash (60 fl. oz.) = 0:55 

Here’s a video of our immense suffering for your entertainment pleasure!

Photo credit goes to Derek. Video recording credit goes to Elliott.

Summer Semester 2012 – Chemistry II

Posted August 8, 2012

This past semester, I took General Chemistry II. The original plan was to take both General Chemistry II and Historical Geology, but due to Blinn College possessing enough irresponsibility to not update my transcript, I was only able to take one class. Chem II is what I should have taken back during the Spring 2011 semester, but instead I foolishly decided to take Physics and set myself at an academic low. Another concern was that I remembered absolutely nothing from taking Chem I during Fall 2010. Well, the class is over now, and needless to say, it wasn’t that bad. I passed without putting too much effort into it. A good 80% of it was calculation-based, and all of the hard work that I put into Calculus for the past year made it feel more like a cake walk. I struggled mainly with the principles and concepts of Chemistry, especially when it got into Organic Chemistry. It was very… uninteresting. My attention span was no greater than that of a dog. But at least I understand what it means when people are taking O-Chem and they’re drawing all of those weird honeycomb shapes.

Degree plan has been updated to reflect these changes. I realize that I have come to a small situation. After this academic school year ends, I will be close to completing my Math minor, but nowhere near close to finishing my Computer Science major. Do I want to just take additional Math courses to fill in the remaining gaps of my degree plan, or do I want to pursue a second Minor? It wouldn’t take too much longer and I would be able to still graduate by 2014. The question is, what minor would I want to take? Business? I don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see.

Fall 2012, here I come! I cannot put into words how ecstatic I am for this upcoming semester!

Project Mov Update

Posted June 19, 2012

The video below explains it all, it’s an update from last time and a walkthrough on parts so that others have some insight as far as what’s needed to build a stick. I’m trying to post as many details as possible, so below you’ll find a video walkthrough, gallery of photos, and a parts list of components and tools that were used throughout the project. I am completely satisfied with the final outcome of the project. I could have just left it as it was, but I’m glad that I decided to rewire the entire thing and wait three months for my PS360+ to come in. As far as building personal sticks go, I’m done. After three years and countless modding, I finally have two sticks that I am very satisfied with. If I ever buy another joystick, it will be a time after I graduate from college. The fighting community still must be strong and if I have enough money from a good-paying job, then I will order a stick from B15SDM Designs. You just can’t beat a stick of that level. One can only dream I guess.

Parts list can be found here.

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